If you received a scheduled required minimum distribution from an IRA because you reached age 72 this year, the IRS just gave you a “mulligan”. (This relief also applies for a surviving spouse.) The IRS has announced you may roll the distribution back to the account no later than September 30, 2023. As a “bonus”, it’s OK to make the rollover when you did another rollover earlier this year, but you won’t be able to make another rollover for twelve months after completing the rollover of your required minimum distribution.
(Taxpayers may still make direct trustee-to-trustee transfers from their retirement accounts without being subject to a once-in-twelve-months limitation.)
Between the SECURE Act of 2019, SECURE 2.0 Act of 2023 and IRS proposed SECURE Act regulations, there has been a lot of confusion about required minimum distributions from IRAs and inherited retirement accounts.
SECURE 2.0 Act of 2023 changed the age when required minimum distributions start for individuals born during 1951 from age 72 to age 73. Many plan custodians didn’t have time to change their software, since the Act was enacted December 29, 2022, resulting in distributions being made during 2023 that weren’t actually required. The IRS is allowing taxpayers to correct that error.
In addition, the IRS issued relief relating to proposed SECURE Act regulations that require plan beneficiaries who inherit retirement accounts from an account owner who was deceased after 2019 and the account owner died after the required beginning date (April 1 of the applicable age when required minimum distributions begin) to continue receiving required minimum distributions, with the balance of the account required to be distributed by December 31 of the year that includes the tenth anniversary of the account owner’s date of death.
Many tax advisors didn’t expect the IRS to require minimum distributions after death. They just expected the balance of the accounts to be distributed during the tenth year after the account owner’s death. This was the procedure when the “five-year rule” applied under the “old rules.”
The IRS previously issued Notice 2022-53, waiving penalties for failing to make required minimum distributions for such an inherited retirement account during 2021 or 2022. (No required minimum distributions applied during 2020 under COVID relief legislation.) The IRS also said final SECURE Act regulations wouldn’t be effective before 2023.
The IRS has issued Notice 2023-54 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-23-54.pdf), waiving penalties for failing to make required minimum distributions for such an inherited retirement account during 2023. The IRS now says the final SECURE Act regulations won’t be effective before 2024. (This is probably an indication the final regulations won’t be issued until 2024.)
If you were born during 1951 and received a required minimum distribution from your IRA or the IRA of a deceased spouse during 2023, or you inherited a retirement account from an account owner who was deceased after 2019, I suggest that you consult with your tax advisor about these matters.